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BHL Bogen
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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Don't Forget - You need your real ID traveling in the United States

In recent months, the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") has started to post signs in airport security lines all over the United States making travelers aware that there is a new requirement that State-issued identification cards or licenses need to meet in order to be valid. Effective on October 1, 2020, all passengers flying within the U.S. will be required to present REAL ID compliant with the REAL ID ACT in order to board an aircraft traveling within the United States.
What in the Real ID Act?
Drafted and signed by President George W. Bush in 2005 in the wake of the September 11th attacks, the REAL ID Act is intended to ensure driver's licenses are more uniform from state to state and more difficult to forge. States have had more than a decade to "establish minimum security standards for state issued driver's licenses and identification cards," and the time is almost up to become compliant.
Starting October 1, 2020, only IDs from a state in compliance with the REAL ID Act or an extension will be accepted when boardingfederally regulated commercial aircraft in the U.S. for domestic flights.
So why should you care?
Currently, 45 states are in compliance with the REAL ID Act, according to information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA (for a full map, see All 5 states that currently issue ID's that are non-compliant with the REAL ID Act have an extension until October, 2019 that allows them to accept non-compliant forms of identification. This means, however, that by the time October 1, 2020 comes around, all passengers from any state may not board an aircraft without a REAL ID compliant form of identification.
Passengers who do not have a REAL ID Act compliant form or ID will need to have some kind of alternative identification, the most common being a passport or military ID (for a full list of acceptable forms of ID, see
What does this mean for you?
If you are a resident of one of the compliant states, nothing changes for you. The only form of identification you need for a domestic flight is your driver's license. A State-issued ID is already compliant if it has a star in the top right corner of the card. Many compliant states have already been doing this for years, so many citizens will not have to obtain a new ID to be compliant.
For residents of a noncompliant state, it is advisable to have a valid passport or other form of acceptable ID ready if planning to travel after October, 2019 at the earliest. Plan accordingly, since it takes 4-6 weeks to get a new passport.
If you are planning to travel with children under the age of 18, the requirements will not impact them. The TSA does not require children under 18 years old to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.

Friday, July 19, 2019

North Carolina targets robocalls and scammers with penalties

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A call from grandma and a call from a scammer can look nearly identical when telephone solicitors mask their real number.

So North Carolina lawmakers passed legislation Monday to require callers to use their real name and number or the information of the business they're representing. The bill passed 45-0 in the state Senate after passage by the House last month and now heads to Gov. Roy Cooper for his decision on whether to sign it into law.
Telephone solicitors often block or trick caller ID to spoof people and make their calls look like they're coming from a local number or from a family member. Under this bill, which already passed the House in May, solicitors who do so can be fined up to $5,000.

The practice of using fake numbers or names is already illegal under federal law, but this bill would give authorities more leverage to go after scammers. The bill also would apply to text message solicitations.
Bill sponsor State House Speaker Tim Moore said that these calls are a top concern for his constituents, particularly the elderly.
"When I went out campaigning this last year ... I heard more about people getting scammed phone calls than any single thing else," he said.
Consumers can elect to be on the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry, which tells companies that they don't want to receive telemarketing sales calls and can complain when companies violate Do Not Call rules.
In 2018, North Carolina had 168,022 "Do Not Call Registry" complaints, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The bill is a starting point to give North Carolina more tools to crack down on robocalls and scams that often rob people of their money, said Rep. Chris Humphrey, a Lenoir County Republican who sponsored the bill.
"The penalties are civil at this point and will begin to make spammers reconsider when making these annoying calls," he wrote in an email.

Humphrey acknowledged that the bill would not stop all spam calls. Many of these calls are hard to trace and may originate from outside of the state or country, making them difficult to prosecute. But the legislation could help North Carolina residents by slowing down the volume of these calls, Humphrey said.
Last fall, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined over 30 attorneys general in calling on the Federal Communications Commission to give telephone service providers more power to block robocalls. He applauded an FCC vote in June that allowed phone carriers to automatically enroll customers in anti-spoofing call programs.

"People deserve protection from these calls that are at best annoying and at worst scams," Stein said in a June